Discover the detailed guide of all the golf courses located in the Hauts-de-France region. You can leave a comment, a vote or an anecdote on all the golf courses present in the golf directory.
From the roof of the blockhouse, transformed into the back tee of hole n° 12 of the Wimereux golf course, the English coasts stand out from the horizon. England is only thirty kilometres away. Yesterday, only ferries provided daily connections between Calais and the English ports of Dover, Folkestone and Ramsgate. Today, tourists take the Channel Tunnel, thirty kilometres of underwater casings. From now on, France is only two and a half hours drive from London. And, at weekends, the English come to the continent to play the great links of the Pas-de-Calais and the Picardy coast: Wimereux, le Touquet, Hardelot, Belle Dune. In couples or between men. Recognizable by their windbreakers and their woollen caps as uniforms. A real return to the roots for these English who revel in these Links built by their ancestors.
Named Whitley, Stoneham, Argyll, these subjects of the British Empire are not only golfers, they are builders. With their fertile imagination, they have transformed the desolate moorland into a state-of-the-art seaside resort. At the end of the XIXth century, Sir John Whitley discovered the dune massifs which extend from the Cap Griz Nez to the mouth of the Authie. Under the spell of these wild landscapes beaten by the winds, this businessman sets himself the task of creating a city from scratch that he has already named Mayville, a French-English name dedicated to Princess May de Teck, wife of the future George V who will reign over Great Britain and the Indian Empire from 1910 to 1936. This crazy project will never succeed. At the same time, he creates Le Touquet Syndicale Ltd in association with one of his compatriots, Allan Stoneham, and walks his gaiters along the coast in search of the ideal site.
About thirty kilometres north of Le Touquet, Whitley falls under the spell of a castle restored by Sir John Hare who "relooked" it in 1849, in the purest neo-gothic style. This castle, whose ramparts date from the 13th century, will be the founding "stone" of Hardelot-Plage,, a seaside resort with an international vocation. One of its towers will even be the n° 1 tee of the 9 holes designed at the beginning of the century by the English champion, Harry Vardon, record holder of the British Open with six victories.
Only three holes of the current Pins, course, 13, 14 and 16,, originate from this first Hardelot layout and some yellowed photos add their historical touch to the green fabric walls of the clubhouse bar.
Passed to 18 holes in 1930 under the brilliant design of Tom Simpson, Hardelot Golf Course cannot withstand the massive bombardments of the Allied air force charged with crushing the German defences of the Second World War. Hardelot-Plage is in ruins. Only eight villas remain intact! In such a context, golf is obviously not the priority and its reopening is only possible in 1953. Fortunately, the original design of Tom Simpson, architect and Chiberia, Chantilly, Fontainebleau … , is preserved.
Traced in a forest whose oldest trees took root in the time of Louis XIII, Hardelot's journey Tom Simpson is always right in his designs and demands finesse and technique from golfers. In front of the craze for golf on the Opal Coast (name given to the portion of the coast between Berck and Cap Gris Nez by the painter Levêque at the beginning of the century), the Lesur family, who have presided over the destiny of golf and the development of the town of Hardelot-Plage for three generations, opened a new 18-hole course in 1990 which finds refuge in the dunes of Mont Saint-Frieux. More than a kilometre from the first course. Designed by the Belgian architect, Paul Rollin, the 18-hole course of Les Dunes is more rugged, the doglegs are numerous and the water features underline its modernity. Despite everything, the course of Les Dunes is criticized by French golfers for its few blind tee-offs.
These arguments make Ken Strachan jump from his director's chair. The Scotsman quotes Gleneagles, Augusta, Lahinch: "Yes, he criticizes the blind holes of these legendary courses... Did Tiger Woods complain about the blind drive at hole 11 of the Masters?" The subject makes Ken Strachan, former pro player, stand up. Whether it rains or sells,, the English players never complain. Too happy to play another round of golf with his office friends. Because the wind has never stopped neither a subject of Her Majesty Queen, nor the golfer of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.
To the Parisian passing by who, already, is bending under the yoke of a wind force 3, we retort that at Wimeureux or at Hardelot , the golf course in the Opal Coast is not starts to get interesting when you walk down the fairways folded in half and the umbrellas turn over, broken whales. Anyway, Wimerough is not a real golf course without wind. Says the members of this club that comes closest in its design to the first Scottish golf courses. Pure and hard. And, when the rough pushes, it's "Wimerough". And the course becomes a monster.
On the immense sandy beach of Le Touquet, the speed-sails with coloured sails run under the wind. At low tide, there are kilometres of playgrounds for these daredevils sitting down with these strange machines, half sailing boat, half car. The dunes, are the motorcyclists who put the gas on the sandy tracks to prepare for the annual race, L'Enduro du Touquet, which brings together hundreds of competitors from all over Europe.
Between the dunes, it is the peaceful golfers who tackle one of the great and noble French courses, that of the Mer du Le Touquet golf course However, the "Sea" is not the first course of Le Touquet because it was only inaugurated in 1931. Twenty-seven years earlier, Lord Balfour, British Prime Minister, inaugurated the course of the Forest! A crowning achievement. But Le Touquet is an atypical town, created only at the end of the nineteenth century. The first houses were built only in 1882, followed by the opening of hotels and shops. In 1888, Le Touquet took the name of Paris-Plage. Despite everything, the station did not take off and John Whitley, the creator of Hardelot, associated with Allen Stonehom, bought one thousand one hundred unsold hectares of the estate. The dynamism of these English is legendary.
Under their leadership, palaces, casinos, racecourses and golf courses sprang up out of the ground, or rather out of the sand. Pre-war, Le Touquet is the only forty-five-hole golf course in France.The members of this club are spoiled. Blessed be Stonehom! In fact, his grateful family has erected a stele to the right of the green of 18 de la Forêt to commemorate this great man who founded the golf course of Le Touquet.
During the Second World War, two thousand bombs exploded on Le Touquet. After the liberation of the town, on September 4, 1944, demining operations began. They were long, dangerous and tedious. The town was full of them. The deminers counted one hundred thousand! The golf course was reborn in 9-hole sections. Since the acquisition by the chain Open Golf ClubAs the English architect Harry Colt, creator of Saint-Claud, Muirfield and Wentworth, had drawn it in 1931, the course of the Sea has come back to its original shape. Paradox of this course, the sea can never be seen from its fairways. You have to wait until you are on the starting tee on the 18th to see the sea between two huge dunes covered with oyats, turning your back on the course.
With the proliferation of American-style courses in the 85-95s, building a links course could seem the height of passimism for a golf architect. At that time, new golfers demanded courses with water hazards, island greens and bunkers as large as a Breton cove! However, two French architects took up the challenge. Yves Bureau at Saint-Jean-de-Montsin the Vendée, and Jean-Manuel Rossi, in Belle-Dune on the Picardy Coast, which was hailed as one of the most beautiful French courses built in the 1990s.
Created by the Syndicat de la Côte Picarde, the Belle Dune golf courseBelle Dune, at Fort-Mahon-Plage, is an example of the successful marriage between ecology and golf, as it took two years of work by researchers to find solutions to the problems posed by the construction of this golf course in the largest dune massif in Europe. To fix the dunes, more than a million oyats were planted by hand, to stabilise the grass, topsoil was spread on the sand, to guide the water for watering, a waterproof film was laid 40 centimetres underground. Since its creation, Belle Dune has always been under the supervision of researchers. Only the rabbits that make the obiet of a drive every Friday in the winter months are not invited to the table of respect for the environment.
Unlike other links which may seem monotonous, Belle Dune invites you to a three-part stroll. The first of holes 1 to 11 crosses a forest of pine and birch, the second from 12 to 14 enters the dune massif. The break is then striking with these green greens surrounded by thousands of blond oyats which undulate in waves under the wind. In an ecological concern, Jean-Manuel Rossi did not hesitate to separate holes 12 and 13 by several hundred meters and to build wooden bridges to leave nature untouched. Finally, from 15 to 18, the pines come back to border the fairways to conclude at the clubhouse, a charming wooden house whose slates and bow-windows underline the Picardy style.
A few anecdotes about golf in the Northern region. Did you know ?